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Thank You for Not Reading Paperback – 1 Dec 2003

4.0 out of 5 stars 3 customer reviews

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Product details

  • Paperback: 220 pages
  • Publisher: Dalkey Archive Press; First English Edition edition (1 Dec. 2003)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1564782980
  • ISBN-13: 978-1564782984
  • Product Dimensions: 14.1 x 1.8 x 21.5 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 4.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (3 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 471,434 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Product Description


Like Nabokov, Ugresic affirms our ability to remember as a source for saving our moral and compassionate identity.

Ugresic must be numbered among what Jacques Maritain called the dreamers of the true; she draws us into the dream.

Dubravka Ugresic is the philosopher of evil and exile, and the storyteller of many shattered lives the wars in former Yugoslavia produced . . . This is an utterly original, beautiful and supremely intelligent novel. --Charles Simic

"A brilliant, enthralling spread of story-telling and high-velocity reflections... Ugresic is a writer to follow. A writer to be cherished."--Susan Sontag

About the Author

An acclaimed novelist and essayist, Dubravka Ugresic is a native of the former Yugoslavia who left her homeland in 1993 for political reasons. She now lives in Amsterdam.

Celia Hawkesworth taught Serbian and Croatian language and literature at the University of London for many years. She now works as a freelance writer and translator. Her long involvement with the language and culture of the region began with her first visit to Zagreb in 1955.

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Customer Reviews

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By A Customer on 27 Jun. 2004
Format: Paperback
The book starts with a great Brodsky quote that I now have as my screensaver at work: "I sit at my desk. My life is grotesque." The first half is mainly about the literary business, disarmingly written in a light self-deprecating tone, but with an amusing passive aggression simmering underneath. It then deepens with some substantial essays about exile and the role of intellectuals in the Balkan conflicts. The book ends back on one of her key themes: the fact that everyone now thinks they can write, including amateur reviews for Amazon. It could have been a different kind of book, e.g. a more in depth comparison between Yugoslav socialist realism and the commercial feel-good books of the global market place. But the unusual structure serves to emphasise that Ugresic doesn't want writers to turn out neat products. It can be a bit frustrating when she leaves you wondering about her specific targets. It's understandable that she doesn't give too many clues about who she's thinking of when she sketches charicatures of different types of East European writer, but I'd love to know who the contemporary writers are that she values or feels are neglected, which small presses she has in mind that have gone out of business etc. She often deliberately avoids rigorous argument in favour of ambiguous and humorous asides. She says for example that Kundera's 'The Joke' can now be found in bookshops filed under humour, which sounds highly unlikely, but would neatly encapsulate the book's theme. It is clear that she is writing about deeply serious issues and in making the book 'sparkle' she leaves you to reflect on one of her fundamental concerns: how difficult it is for serious writers to hold our attention today.
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Format: Paperback
Glib yet (as she candidly admits) consistently negative, the author's efforts (as she also admits) to sparkle grow wearisome after a time. Give me someone like Tim Parks where - in Where I'm Reading From, say - the criticism is constructive and the sparkle spontaneous. I prefer this crusty Croatian on politics. Tim one could have round for dinner; Dubravka one would just like to give a big hug
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Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
Witty satire of the publishing industry
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